In the multiverse of my own life, I’ve iterated through varied career paths as a professional figure skater, student, researcher, engineer, entrepreneur, instructor, and realtor. Design thinking has helped bring together all these different parts of my life story and collaborate with folks from all walks of life, from octogenarians in Seattle to students in Hong Kong and activists in Palestine. I’m now building out my own design venture at STUDIO SHUM.

With the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design & Engineering graduate program, I’m exploring questions like:

How might we co-create with more diverse talents and grassroots communities, and enable them to be a part of the decision-making and production process?

How might we uncover and reclaim hidden’ designs around us that dominate our understanding and shape our lives — not just dark patterns, but legacies of geopolitics and institutionalized structures of power, wealth, and resources?

Instead of optimizing for short-term profits and interests, how might we expand our time horizon to reflect on our past and consider alternatives that balance anthropocentric individualism with ecological sustainability and our collective wellbeing?

Previously, I’ve developed next-generation experiences in research labs at MIT and ETH Zürich and with startups across smart furniture, IoT, fintech, and travel industries. I also taught design and STEM workshops across three continents, encouraging students to find their voice in the field. At MIT, I graduated with honors in computer science with an emphasis on human-computer interaction and performance studies. Before that, I trained and competed around the country and world on Team USA as a figure skater.

Outside of school and work, I serve as a board member for the MIT Club of Puget Sound and volunteer for MIT Admissions.

Find me at kshum[at]mit[dot]edu.